Border Police Ban Facial Hair

According to the Border Police rules of service from January 30, 2017, officers employed in that law enforcement agency must be shaved when in uniform. Although the rule is not much different from the regulations in other police agencies, the media speculated it was meant to curb the influence of Islamists in the Border Police.

“The Border Police is not aware of officers belonging to groups that pose security risk for BiH border and citizens,” the allegations were denied by the Border Police spokesperson.

 

“Since January 30, the Office for Internal Control and Professional Standards received requests from several officers to be allowed to wear beard for medical and other reasons. The requests were submitted by members of all ethnic groups,” the agency said.

 

HDZ Candidate Reelected Mayor of Stolac

The Central Election Commission said the candidate of main Bosnian Croat party HDZ BiH for Stolac mayor won the Sunday rerun of the local poll in the divided Herzegovina town. Current mayor Stjepan Boskovic, who ran against the opposition candidate Mato Komsic, also a Croat, won nearly 60% of votes.

The CEC said 7,566 voters went to the polls, which accounts for a 75.57% turnout.

Observers of coalition of non-governmental organizations said that the rerun of election in Stolac went without problems, but with a few minor irregularities.

Despite the announcements of a boycott, the town’s Bosniaks went to the polls. Bosniak Initiative for Stolac earlier called on the voters to vote, as they concluded that the CEC took the steps to minimize election fraud.

The October 2, 2016 elections were cancelled in Stolac because of several violent incidents at polling stations.The CEC banned the Bosniak candidate for mayor Salmir Kaplan and several candidates for municipal council from running this Sunday because of they were found responsible for the incidents.

Presidency Member, FM Trade Accusations over Correspondence with ICJ

Foreign minister said that the Bosniak member in the Presidency, Bakir Izetbegovic, ordered the ambassador in The Hague not to deliver his letter to the International Court of Justice, in which he wrote that the decision to appeal the ruling in the genocide case against Serbia was not an official position of the Presidency.

Minister Igor Crnadak told a news television that he will meet today with the Serb member in the Presidency, Mladen Ivanic, to discuss the issue.

“If the attacks on (state) institutions, parallelism and privatization of the institutions continued, we will have a problem bigger than it is today,” said Crnadak.

He added that he managed to deliver the letter to the ICJ using other channels.

Izetbegovic said that the foreign minister was not authorized to communicate with the ICJ and added that he abused his position: “There is no decision of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina which authorized Minister  Crnadak to communicate orally or in writing with the International Court of Justice in The Hague.”

 

On Monday, the leaders of Bosnian Serb parties that participate in the state government will meet with representatives of Republika Srpska entity in the state institutions, at which they will formulate a position on Izetbegovic’s announcement of the ICJ ruling appeal.

Another Lake Drained to Produce More Electricity

Ramsko Lake in Herzegovina was practically drained recently because of a dry and cold winter that prompted a sharp increase in electricity production. The artificial lake was created nearly a half-century ago to feed a hydroelectric power plant, but some 20 villages were submerged in the process. Now, as a result of the drain, houses and cracked tombstones have been exposed after the lake’s waters vanished.

“I remember people speedily abandoning our village,” a local man told AP, recalling the days in 1968 when he and his friends had been forced to part ways.

“Every day someone was crying as yet another family would leave.”

Nearly 2,000 people were forced to move to make way for the lake. Residents were given several months to leave their homes and move to different towns across Bosnia where authorities provided them with accommodation.

 

“We usually swim in this lake, but now — strangely — we get to walk on its bottom,” Marin Juric, a 16-year-old exploring the almost completely dried lake with his friends, said with a grin.

Local teenagers climb atop what remains of a village mosque, which residents say was at least 300 years old when it was submerged, and wander among old graves.

On the other hand, 79-year-old Ivan Baraban described past times that were “much better, much happier and filled with song.”

“People used to gather to mow the meadows together and sing,” Baraban said.

“We were content to work the land.”

Earlier this month, Jablanicko lake was also drained to produce more electricity.

 

 

Sarajevans Donate Hair for Children with Cancer

An organization that helps children with cancer organized a hair drive in a Sarajevo mall. Donated hair will be used for making wigs for children who lost hair from chemo.

Lejla Kamerić, the head of Srce za djecu koja boluju od raka u FBiH organization, told Klix that the drive organized in SCC was inspired by the fact that a significant number of children with cancer come from poor families that can’t afford real hair wigs: “It is a particularly sensitive issue for girls. A lot of people call and write; a lot of them want to donate hair.”

Hair eligible for donation must be at least 30 cm long and chemically untreated.

Some fifty children are diagnosed with cancer in Bosnia every year. Three in four on average win the battle against the disease.

European Force Commander Visits Ammunition Maker

The commander of EUFOR with an inspection team visited the Igman ammunition manufacturing company in Konjic. Major General Friedrich Schrötter met with the General Director of Igman, Đahid Muratbegović.

COMEUFOR said: “I am interested in two particular elements on this visit; future development of the Company and the method and results of the inspection itself.  Both are key to ensure the company progresses and keeps up in the current market, which will also directly benefit the BiH economy.”

The Igman Company manufactures small arms ammunition for civilian and military purposes and exports its products worldwide.  Founded in 1950, in former Yugoslavia, Igman produced up to 150 million rounds on an annual basis. Because of a loss in the market after 1995, the output dropped down to only 10% of this.  Through Federation investment (the Federation Government is a 51% stakeholder) and an upward trend in the market, production has now increased to nearly 110 million rounds per year.

According to the national Foreign Trade Chamber, Bosnia’s arms producers achieved profits in 2016 that were between 15 and 20 per cent higher than the year before. The Chamber’s data shows that the value of arms exports in 2016 amounted to 87.4 million euros, compared to 70 million euros in the previous year.

Military firms exported most to Egypt last year, followed by Saudi Arabia – which imported the most Bosnian-produced arms and military equipment in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, Bosnian military exports to Egypt were worth about 22.8 million euros. Exports to Saudi Arabia were worth about 17.2 million euros, and to the United States, 12.8 million euros.

Other major importers of Bosnian-produced arms and military equipment in 2016 were Serbia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Switzerland and Malaysia.

Five Films Will Be Screened during Iranian Film Week

The Iranian Film Week, organized by the Iranian Culture Center in Sarajevo, will be held from 20 to 24 February at the Cinema City multiplex. The Film Week is part of the Sarajevo Winter festival.

Five awarded films by renowned Iranian directors will be screened during the Week.

 

Feb. 20, 19.00h: Dokhtar (Reza Mirkarimi, 2016, 103′)

A young girl leaves her hometown in south of Iran for a half day trip, without permission of her strict father, to attend a close friend’s goodbye party. On her way back home, severe weather changes her plans.

 

Feb. 21, 18.00h: So Close, so Far (Reza Mirkarimi, 2005, 97′)

A neurosurgeon whose life is all about his work will do a lot of soul searching when his son is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.

 

Feb. 22, 18.00h: Where Are My Shoes (Kiumars Poorahmad, 2016, 90′)

A man starts loosing memory when his wife and daughter cut contact with him.

 

Feb. 23, 18.00h: Crazy Castle (Abolhassan Davoudi, 2015, 115′)

A group of people who met online are forced to work together when one of them commits a crime which will affect them all if not solved.

 

Feb. 24, 18.00: Angels Come Together (Hamed Mohammadi, 2013, 92′)

A soon to be clergy man and his wife deal with the troubles of rising their triplets.